RAM standard created by Rambus Inc., used in Intel's i820 motherboard.

It should also be pointed out that RDRAM is currently several times more expensive than SDRAM. In reality, which of the two performs better depends upon the application you're using. Intel has apparently been subsidizing RDRAM for Dell, which explains why they're the only major OEM who has not put out an Athlon machine.

I have a 1.5 Ghz Pentium 4, with a moderate 128 MB of RDRAM. Despite the fact that this is a small amount of RAM for today's standards, RDRAM boasts it is BIGGER, BETTER AND FASTER than any RAM to ever grace this Earth. In theory, I agree, its dual RIMMs can carry its data at a blitzing 800 Mhz and over. In practice, however, it might be faster, it might be bigger, but its not better.

There are three types of RD RAM nowadays. The old type, 16-bit RIMM 1600 (which I have) travels at 800 Mhz and requires pairs of RAM sticks, and as such all RD RAM capable motherboards came with four RAM slots. The old RD RAM was also only compatible with Pentium 4 processors. The second type, 32-bit RIMM 4200, boasts an increase in speed, travelling at 1066 Mhz, but has the major advantage of not requiring pairs. The newest type 64-bit RIMM 11G, travels at a blitzing speed of 1333 Mhz and is compatible with Pentium 4Bs and the new range of AMD processor's set for release this year.

Now the old type of RDRAM is still available, but it is very hard to get your hands on, and this makes upgrading your meager amount of RAM a difficulty, and also means that the once reduced price has started to rise once again as it is a rarer commodity than before. Should I wish to upgrade to the new, readily availabe 32-bit RIMM, it would require the purchase of a whole new motherboard, hiking the price up to almost four times what it would be for one to purchase the older type, and if I were to go about purchasing the 64-bit RIMM, it would require both a new motherboard and new processor. So I am faced with a dilemma, but my predicament aside, RDRAM is not simply a misfortune of mine for rushing into a new technology too early, but it is a bad choice for any middle income earner. The old 16-bit RDRAM still sells for around 2-3 times that of SD RAM, the 32-bit RDRAM sells for about 2-3 times that of DDR DRAM, and the new 64-bit RDRAM sells for around 4-5 times that of DDR DRAM.

Now although this is considerably more expensive, it is also considerably faster than the fastest DDR DRAM (currently 433 Mhz). However I do warn middle income earners such as myself, do not be sucked in by the raw statistics of speed. Yes, 128 MB of RD RAM will outperform 128 MB of DDR DRAM, however both of these, with modern day applications such as Windows XP, are very meager amounts of memory, and will not perform well. The fact that RD RAM would perform better than a similar system with DDR DRAM is irregardless, for no system with modern applications will perform well with simply 128 MB of RAM. Now, if we change the amount to 512 MB, or preferably, 1024 MB, then we will see good performance, and much better performance from RD RAM... theoretically. The problem, then, is whether one has a fast enough processor, HDD, CD/DVD ROM drives and motherboard to take full advantage of the memory clock speed. Now, unless one has a Pentium 4B (or greater) with a 10,200 RPM HDD and a very modern motherboard with 533 FSB, the answer is probably no. And asides from the fact of whether or not you have this, a system with 512 MB - 1024 MB of RDRAM, a P4B and a 10,200 RPM HDD is going to start costing well in excess of US$2500.

Hope you got all that... so the moral of the story is to get the full extent of RD RAM, one must be prepared to expend a great deal of money. For the middle income earner, this is simply not a possibility, so a system with 1024 MB of DDR DRAM (which is of equal cost to about 256 MB 64-bit RDRAM) is going to be alot better with a moderate system unable to take advantage of the speeds of RDRAM.

Anywho... now turning to the mechanics of RDRAM, it works a little like this:

#----------DATA----------# DIMM
#----------DATA----------# DIMM
#----------DATA----------# DIMM
#----------DATA----------# DIMM
#----------DATA----------# DIMM
#----------DATA----------# DIMM
#----------DATA----------# DIMM
#----------DATA----------# DIMM

This is DDR SDRAM, it works by shuttling its data along 8 DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory Module), SDRAM only utilises half of these.

#--------DATA---------------------DATA-------------------DATA----------# RIMM

#--------DATA---------------------DATA-------------------DATA----------# RIMM

This is RDRAM, it works by shuttling its data along only 2 RIMMs (Rambus Inline Memory Module). These RIMMs, however, travel at much greater speeds than DIMMs, and can carry multiple data streams at once, making the RAM more effective.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.